Our top five Bluebell walks in the Kent Downs

The beautiful bluebell symbolises hope, gratitude and everlasting love – maybe this is why we become obsessed with seeing them each spring!

If you’re looking for inspiration on the best places for some bluebell spotting, look no further. Here are our top five places to visit in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to see these feelgood beauties.

1. Ashenbank Wood Ancient Woodland, Cobham

It’s classified as ancient woodland, meaning it is at least 400 years old – and probably much older than that! In spring it boasts a spectacular show of bluebells and wood anemones, boasts ancient features to discover and promises fantastic views all year round. It’s also a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is teeming with extraordinary wildlife.

There are two trails to explore this special woodland – a short half mile or 20 minute walk and a longer walk just over a mile long. The shorter walk is accessible for visitors with pushchairs and/or wheelchairs.

2. King’s Wood, Challock

The King’s Wood, one of Kent’s largest woodlands, is an historic royal hunting forest, an ancient woodland site and home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna, including fallow deer, adders, nightjars, green woodpeckers, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, foxgloves, bluebells and woodspurges. There’s also a 3.5-mile Sculpture Trail, a very enjoyable walk in all seasons.

King’s Wood has a range of public paths that run through the woodland. And off-bridleway horse-riding is restricted to specific routes and only permitted if you are a TROT member.

3. Shoreham Woods, Sevenoaks

Sitting within the beautiful Darent Valley, overlooking Shoreham Village, Shoreham Woods is a collection of five different woodlands. In spring, much of this woodland is covered with a wonderful display of bluebells – it’s also home to several rare orchid species and many old trees, including a grove of ancient yews!

There is a horse-riding route crossing Meenfield Wood, but no facilities for cyclists. A wheelchair-accessible path, runs from the Rangers Lodge through Andrews Wood to a picnic area.

4. Lyminge Forest, Canterbury

One of the largest areas of woodland in Kent and made up of a number of smaller woods. Lyminge Forest has two walking routes designed to lead you to the best spots for seeing the carpets of bluebells which flower in the woodland in spring.

There are five cycle routes ranging in length from 2.5 miles to 8 miles. If you’re exploring the woods on foot, there are no stiles or barriers in Lyminge Forest, making many of the flat, well-surfaced walking routes suitable for all.

5. Harvel Hike, West Malling

Join the iconic North Downs Way National Trail as it merges with the historic Pilgrims. Stopping at Trosley Country Park, the chalk grassland and woodland is a hotspot for bluebells and butterflies in spring and an excellent habitat for dormice and badgers.

This nearly seven-mile walk can be challenging at points with steep slopes and steps.

Respect. Protect. Enjoy.

Bluebell woods are breathtaking to visit but are sensitive plants and trampling can really leave its mark. The bulbs are easily damaged by walking on them meaning they can’t produce enough energy to flower and reproduce in following years.

Areas of high footfall can even cause entire colonies to die out. Help us to look after them by sticking to paths and avoid treading on or near bluebell plants.

The Kent Downs is one of Britain’s most wooded landscapes (23% woodland) and the majority is irreplaceable ancient woodland (70%).

Find out more about our continuing work to protect trees and woodlands across the Kent Downs AONB and how you can help.

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